Marketing Featured APAC

TotallyAwesome’s US$10m funding to double down on programmatic offerings

Singapore – TotallyAwesome, a digital advertising network for kids, teens, and families–has recently announced its fundraising efforts amounting to US$10m, which the company will use to expand its proprietary data-driven managed and programmatic offerings.

The funding round was led by San Francisco-based Partners For Growth and Singapore-based boutique investment growth advisory firm Yefira Group.

TotallyAwesome will also use the funding to solidify its position in a space where it has first-mover advantage, while expanding its footprint across key strategic markets such as Indonesia, Philippines, Japan and Australia.

The ad network enables a youth-safe digital ecosystem by curating the largest supply of media inventory for brands to engage with more than 500 million monthly active under 18-users across APAC, safely. 

Will Anstee, CEO of TotallyAwesome, said, “It gives me great confidence that ‘Venture Capital for good’ is gaining greater traction in our world at large and TotallyAwesome met that brief for both institutions. Additionally, the importance of cultural fit was at the top of my list when looking for both equity and debt partners. To this end, both PFG and the Yefira Group are a perfect match. Exciting times ahead.”

The investment marks the company’s second major announcement in recent weeks, having previously unveiled TotallyPlay, the industry’s largest brand safe gaming platform for brands to engage with Asia-Pacific’s 450 million plus under-18 gamers.

Through this new funding round, the company aims to rewrite the current brand value exchange in the APAC region – by investing in product development to evolve its enterprise advertising platform, ramp up hiring across its sales, data science and machine learning teams, as well as exploring strategic mergers and acquisitions to accelerate growth.

Platforms Featured APAC

TotallyAwesome unveils largest brand-safe gaming platform in APAC

Singapore – Kid-centric digital advertising platform TotallyAwesome has recently launched its largest brand-safe gaming platform ‘TotallyPlay’ in Asia-Pacific, allowing brands and advertisers to connect with gamers in Singapore and in the region aged under 18.

Through the platform, it bridges the gap between greater content utility for brands and the experience of play with gamers through managed and programmatic offerings within specific youth audience segments. 

TotallyPlay’s mission is to provide an unbiased and science-backed approach, with a focus on human interpretation, best-in-class exclusive media partnerships, and brand safety. Whether it’s a hand-selected in-game marketing deployment, rewarded video in a mobile game, pre-rolls on around popular gaming YouTubers, a custom integration within a virtual world, or an in-stream placement during a gaming tournament, the platform enables marketers to meaningfully connect with the industry.

TotallyPlay’s gaming platform is able to deliver the largest and best-in-class media supply across APAC without the need for third-party online data, giving marketers a platform to navigate industry sea changes such as Google’s plans to disable third-party cookies next year.

This supply includes safer advertising formats in-game, whether that’s in the form of an in-game banner and rewarded video formats, exclusive branded character skins, or even an official partnership with a brand or developer. Then, it’s about partnerships and collaborations with creators, influencers and other media around the game. And lastly, thinking beyond the game, it’s the partnerships and curated experiences with partners like official esports tournaments, athletes, or in forms of brand experiences built in other virtual environments.

Will Anstee, CEO of TotallyAwesome commented on the launch, “TotallyPlay is about providing the advertising backdrop for positive gameplay to thrive, collaborating with interested brands, and backed by media metrics to prove or disprove each channel’s effectiveness for their campaigns. In short, we’re the only agnostic player in the game, forgive the pun.” 

He added, “Beyond creating highly curated age-appropriate, brand-safe environments, we’re fully invested in the mission to support a safer online future for under-18s and are fascinated by the future of gaming and the possibilities for safe and responsible gameplay to flourish. As we know the region’s biggest brands feel the same, our role is to connect them with this multi-hundred billion-dollar industry with meaning and utility at scale, with the best ROI their media dollars can buy. It’s now a no-brainer.”

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

TotallyAwesome launches programmatic solution targeting audiences under 18

Singapore – TotallyAwesome, digital media network for GenZ and families, has launched a new programmatic digital platform called TotallyAwesome Programmatic Playground. The new platform allows APAC advertisers to reach children under the age of 18 in brand-safe environments at scale.

Marketing professionals have long been unable to connect with teenagers and young adults in a brand-safe, scalable environment despite the fact that they are increasingly in charge of household purchasing decisions such as vacations, automobiles, beauty products, auto repair, and technology. TotallyAwesome Programmatic Playground aims to provide a solution to this difficulty.

Using a custom data filter that prevents PII-sensitive data from being collected and transferred in the bid request, TotallyAwesome Programmatic Playground leverages and optimises over 200 interest categories of Under 18s passion points to create sophisticated audience segments to responsibly engage with this hard-to-reach audience.

Unlike most programmatic solutions, TotallyAwesome Programmatic Playground engages with its audience contextually via over 7,000 verified brand-safe media inventory formats including apps, websites and games to deliver over 300 million monthly active online users under 18’s across Asia Pacific. It does not collect any data or personal identifying information (PII).

Powered by TotallyAwesome’s Curation and Moderation Platform (CaMP cloud-based tool) that has ingested over millions of brand-safe media ad units, publishers and contextual environments. All inventory is vetted and qualified by human moderators including teenagers in the local language to guarantee brand safe and ad fraud free inventory.

The TotallyAwesome Programmatic Playground is compliant with both COPPA and GDPR data privacy guidelines and regulations, and is a member of the kidSAFE Seal Program. The company follows the most advanced Government regulations protecting kids’ data and privacy. A resident practising psychologist advises on what is age appropriate and consequently helps shape its products and develop bespoke research solutions.

Will Anstee, CEO of TotallyAwesome, commented that they  are extremely proud to bring the world’s first programmatic solution to safely engage with an Under 18 audience to market in Asia Pacific.

“TotallyAwesome is passionate about helping brands reach audiences under 18 years-old in an age-appropriate, brand safe environment,” Anstee said.

Anstee added, “We’ve invested significant time and resources to create this world-first solution that enables brands and agencies to engage with this powerful and influential audience with meaning and utility at scale, in a protected environment.”

Florian Schwinn, programmatic lead at TotallyAwesome, commented, “The TotallyAwesome Programmatic Playground combines a best-in-class contextual discovery platform with privacy compliant technology and informed human insight to create a world-first solution.”

“We’re delighted to be able to provide a safe and efficient environment to enable brands and their agencies to build powerful Private Market Places (PMP’s) to responsibly engage with this audience,” Schwinn adds.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

TotallyAwesome Indonesia names Ridwan S Hidayat as new country manager

Indonesia – TotallyAwesome, the largest kids-safe digital advertising and content platform in the APAC region, has appointed Ridwan S Hidayat, former client services director at global data and measurement-driven media agency Essence, to be its new country manager in Indonesia.

Hidayat brings with him extensive experience from his previous senior media agency positions. Besides his former role in Essence, he has also worked as the senior media and production manager at Kraft Heinz‘s food and drink subsidiary Kraft Heinz ABC, the group head at media company Mindshare, and the senior media planner at marketing agency Armananta Group.

Commenting on his appointment, Hidayat said that he is very excited to be leading TotallyAwesome in the country and contributing to high-quality interaction between brands and young audiences.

“TotallyAwesome is a unique media business with a focus on helping kids and families connect with brands through safe and private interaction. Helping protect our youngest internet audiences and their families in the digital environment is a big focus for government and business,” said Hidayat.

Meanwhile, TotallyAwesome APAC’s CEO Will Anstee, commented that Hidayat’s credentials to lead TotallyAwesome have been shaped by his client service and planning experience.

“As the digital world evolves, there is a growing need for human assessment and guidance in how brands reach out to digital audiences, especially our Indonesia youth that make up over 30% of the population. We need to protect them and ensure brands are stepping up to play a more meaningful role in their lives. Ridwan will lead this for us in Indonesia. I’m excited and proud to have him join us on this journey,” said Anstee.

The digital platform provides a safe digital environment for children and their families to interact with child-focused products on the internet while acknowledging and supporting the world’s most advanced regulations protecting kids’ data privacy. In Indonesia, TotallyAwesome has been active since 2015 and has an audience of 35.2 million monthly active users.

Earlier this year, TotallyAwesome announced other new appointments, namely Mikio Kudo, the new country manager in Japan, and James Sawyer, the new managing director of AUNZ operations.

Platforms Featured East Asia

TotallyAwesome expands in Japan, welcomes new country manager

Japan – TotallyAwesome, the largest kids-safe digital advertising and content platform in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region, has announced that it will be expanding its market presence in Japan to further reach the hard-to-get audiences.

Following this endeavor, the business has also hired Mikio Kudo, former country president of toy brand Mattel, to be its new country manager in Japan. He will be supported by new senior appointments at TotallyAwesome in the coming months.

Kudo brings with him 20 years of experience in marketing and media. He has previously worked as the executive director for commercial broadcasting company Turner Japan KK and media sales manager for financial software giant Bloomberg LP. Kudo specializes in managing licensing deals, original content sales, and advertising sales.

Commenting on Kudo’s appointment, Will Anstee, the CEO of TotallyAwesome, said that this is a huge strategic win for TotallyAwesome as Kudo is a rare talent who understands both the client and publisher sides in a complex market like Japan, enabling the business to execute superior engagement strategies for our clients’ competitive edge. 

“I couldn’t be more excited and optimistic for the future of the business, but more importantly, our continued ambition to make the internet safe and compliant for brands and Japanese youth online,” added Anstee.

The digital platform is an advanced forum for kids, teens, co-viewing families, and brands to safely interact across thousands of apps, games, and websites, enabling a youth-safe ecosystem across APAC. In Japan, TotallyAwesome has an audience of 17 million internet users aged six to 18 years old, as well as two million families that view the internet as a family unit.

Platforms Featured ANZ

TotallyAwesome hires new managing director for ANZ operations

Australia – TotallyAwesome, the largest kids-safe digital advertising, and content platform in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region, has appointed James Sawyer, former managing partner of media agency Ikon Communications, as its new managing director for the platform’s Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) operations.

The digital platform is an advanced forum for kids, teens, co-viewing families, and brands to safely interact across thousands of apps, games, and websites, enabling a youth-safe ecosystem across APAC.

The appointment will see Sawyer leading TotallyAwesome ANZ’s media and content team, helping clients and media agencies connect with kids, teens, and their families through the platform. He brings with him 20 years of experience in Australian media.

Commenting on his appointment, Sawyer said that leading TotallyAwesome ANZ to its next phase is a career changer for him and that he’s looking forward to joining the business. 

He added, “As the industry moves away from cookie-based targeting TotallyAwesome is poised for growth through its visionary kid-safe technology and privacy-compliant digital ecosystem. This ensures a safe environment for young audiences to engage with branded content.”

Meanwhile, Will Anstee, the CEO of TotallyAwesome APAC, commented, “James is the ideal executive for this key role. He is a highly respected media leader with finely tuned analytical, performance leadership, and partnership skills. The business in ANZ and across APAC has enormous growth potential and James will play a vital role in helping us realize this potential.”

The platform has also announced other new hires, namely Amanda Abel, the new pediatric psychologist, and Alice Almeida, the new regional head of data, as well as Jo-Ann Yeoh, the new head of account and project management.